We’ve covered reviews on Ripoff Report, reviews on Yelp, and reviews on Angie’s List in the last few parts of this reputation management guide. This section is about the specific nuances of reviews on Google Places. Since we’ve covered a lot of information about handling negative reviews in previous sections, I strongly recommend you review those posts as much of the information about handling negative reviews and generating more positive reviews is also relevant to Google Places.
What Is Google Places?
Google Places is a Google product that provides a company profile in its search results. The profile contains the local business’s address, phone number, website link, menu, Zagat information, and hours. It also shows images of the restaurant, helps potential customers where the business is on the map, and allows customers to read and review the business and have it show up on the profile page.
According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Since Google is the largest search engine, most of those queries will return their own search results from Google Places. In fact, Google Places is often a dominant result on the search results page, often at or near the top of the page and sometimes even featuring on the right-hand side of the page by itself. That’s why it’s important to learn more about Google Places and make sure that your company or brand is being represented in the best possible light.
In addition to your profile showing up whenever someone searches for your company name, you may also show up in broader searches that contain keywords related to your business. For example, if someone in San Francisco typed in “spa market street,” they will get listings for the most popular spas in this area. Signing up for Google Places can also drive highly-targeted and relevant traffic to your website, so your profile can be used as a lead generation tool in addition to a reputation management tool.